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Lecture

Individualism Individualism and Politics

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Department
Political Science
Course
POLS 1000
Professor
Martin Breaugh
Semester
Winter

Description
Human rights are not truly human rights because the understanding behind human rights The notion of individualism is a recent notion Anything 18th or 19th C is recentIts a notion that dates to the 19th CIv seen the date of 1826 as being the first date as seeing the term individualism for the first timeThis means that the ancient greeks did not have a term or word that designated the term individual or individualismThis is oddBecause it has become almost impossible for us to think about the human experience without ever having to return to the term individualismWhen it comes to thinking about humans the term individualhasnt always been used and its not a mutual term to designateTo understand this development of individualism 1st point that de Tocqueville will makeIs that there is no way that we can reduce individualism to being selfishSo we cannot equate individualism and selfishness this is falseTo support his point de Tocqueville will say individuals cannot be referred to man being selfish because selfishness has always existed its existed throughout history so theres no need to invent anew word when its already thereIndividualism is a recent expression arising from a new idea pg 110The new idea that will actually give birth to individualism That new idea is democracyGOOD ESSAY QUESTION Pg110 individualism is a democratic origin and it threatens to develop as conditions become equal quote by De TocquevilleAnd so modern society for de Tocqueville is not more selfish by society but it is conditioned by development of individualismBecause modern society is conditioned we have to look more closely at individualism and its effects to gain a better understanding of contemporary societyFor de Toc Individualism has to do with a judgement of the mind each person decides to isolate themselves from others by turning to family and friendsWe will turn to family and friends and by doing so we will leave society as a whole till its settledHe will qualify this judgement of the mind as being erroneousThrough individualism people willingly seek to be independent from othersOthers ofc not including their friends and their familyThe problem here is that if you turn to friends and family and you leave society to itself wellu dry up the sources of public virtuepolitical participation meaning public virtueBecause of individualism ppl dont concern themselves in the public run and they dont care about society at largeInstead people concentrate their efforts on the private round family and friendsAnd so we put ourselves at the source of all legitimate populationsAs the end of the 18th C the source of legitimacy is me and u whereas before it could be the king gods ancestors and so we can say that it is a turn towards the private round
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